RICHARD TOMLINSON    Book Number: 85421    Product format: Hardback

The legendary W.G. Grace was born into a Victorian world where the all-powerful MCC divided cricketers into Gentlemen and Players, and as the son of a Bristol doctor W.G. did not quite qualify as a gentleman and was refused MCC membership. Grace scored his first century in first-class cricket during an England v. Surrey match in 1865, and by the age of 27 he had notched up 50 centuries in the first-class game. His final century, no.126, was on his 56th birthday in 1904. Millions came to watch him, not just at Lord's but across the British Empire and beyond. In between was an extraordinary story of mixed genius and mismanagement. Although W.G. practised as a doctor like his father, his wife Agnes was the daughter of a bankrupt yet the couple sent their sons to the prestigious Clifton College. W.G. needed the extra cash he could raise from cricket, but receiving payment compromised his status as an amateur. Paradoxically it was this that brought him into alliance with the controversial and aristocratic MCC secretary Robert Fitzgerald, who himself took a salary and initiated the controversial grandstand scheme, one of the first sporting projects to raise significant money from ticket sales. W.G.'s support for Fitzgerald finally removed the obstacles to his MCC membership. But by the mid-1870s he had reached the weight of 16 stone as a result of secret binge-eating and alcoholism, and he was booed at Nottingham's Trent Bridge in the Test match of 1899. His passion for the game was undimmed, however, and he continued playing until the end of his life for any side that would have him. 413pp, career statistics, photos.
Published price: £25
Bibliophile price: £5.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9781408705179
Browse these categories as well: Sport, Historical Biography

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